The Flash: Season 2, Episode 1 “The Man Who Saved Central City” Review
The Flash Season 2 Premiere – Quick Impressions (Spoilers)
The Flash is back! After a super strong first season which set a pretty consistent bar across each episode, The Flash is looking to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Quite a number of shows with a stellar inaugural season failed to recapture that same magic in their second season.
One of the reasons which made the first season great was the mystery behind the true identity of Harrison Wells and the Man in the Yellow Suit story arc. So one question heading into the second season premiere is if the new overarching story line would be as compelling. There was also some reviews on Season 1 which considered whether The Flash had peaked too soon and burned through too many ideas and stories, too fast.
“The Man Who Saved Central City” is a good indication that the show runners aren’t going to stray from what makes the show great, even if parts of the premiere came off as a little formulaic. The Flash has never been an original show, in the sense that it’s not trying to rewrite the superhero genre, rather it is embracing its comic book heritage better than we could have hoped for.
Barry’s state of mind has certain parallels to how Oliver Queen started off Arrow’s Season 2. Both are separated from their support team, but while Barry is still in the city helping and Oliver left town, both no longer see themselves as true heroes. This is another over used comic book trope but as long as it feels true to the character, it should feel true to the audience.
So even though the structure of this episode functioned to get Barry to the point where he could accept the city’s key, which is symbolic of him accepting his superhero status and to get the old gang back together, it worked because it’s an entertaining ride and emotionally resonated. I’ve always get emotionally sucked into Barry’s scenes with this father Henry, those scenes are always so well acted and written. This time it wasn’t even behind a glass wall, talking into a prison phone.
I also couldn’t agree more with Henry that Barry has a second family, which is Barry’s secret power so to speak as much as the show’s strength. The writers know how to get the best out of their supporting characters from Cisco, Caitlin to Joe West. It also helps that everyone in Barry’s inner circle knows his true identity whereas on Arrow it hurt some character’s development because they were kept on the outside and disconnected from the main story line.
One of the best lighter moments is when Professor Martin Stein named the villain of the week “Atom Smasher” which is normally Cisco’s job. As mostly fun as Atom Smasher is, he’s also mostly a throwaway villain who names drops Zoom, Season Two’s big bad. The show didn’t explicitly say this but it’s reasonable to believe that the reason Atom Smasher looks identical to the welder guy who was found murdered at the beginning of the episode is that he’s from an alternative universe.
The wormhole singularity is going to open a door to a lot of wild story ideas. It’s also going to allow dead characters to come back (but not as we know them) and see different versions, perhaps meta versions, of existing characters. This should be a wild ride for both the actors to show another side to their acting talent and a blast for the fans to watch.
The Flash Season 2 premiere delivered a solid, entertaining episode which kept us on our toes and at same time gave us what we wanted. There were the trademark lighter moments mixed together with some good action set pieces. Ending on “your world is in danger” is a loaded warning that should lead to some very exciting things to come. Sophomore jinx eh? Not gonna happen (crosses fingers).
What did you like or dislike about this episode? Are you excited about Jay Garrick joining the cast in a reoccurring role?